For example, I have always liked this picture and imagined my newlywed grandparents were dressed up to go to some special occasion.
Come to find out, per my grandfather, they were just going to the neighboring apartment complex to play Bridge with some friends. Can you believe how dressy they were to just go to a friend's house? We don't even dress this well to go to church. This reminds me of Andy Griffith or Dick Van Dyke shows when the characters donned a suit coats and bow ties to go to a neighbor's house for supper. This photo is evidence that real-life people actually did that!
Here is what I don't know: Did my grandmother ever get frustrated living across the United States from her family while my grandfather was stationed in California or was she happy to embark on an adventure? Did she make friends easily or was it hard for her? Was their transition into married life calm or stormy?
This photo of my dad (on the left) is funny to me because it looks so much like Thing2 (right), only it was taken almost 50 years ago.
From my grandfather, I know that my grandmother loved to dress the boys up to take their pictures. I also know that she liked to sew. (She was a home economics teacher for awhile.) Also, I know she had two sons just like me and wanted a daughter but never had one.
Here is what I don't know: Did her Thing2 act like mine as much as he looked like mine? Where did she buy their clothes or did she use hand-me-downs? How did she handle daily life with the kids? How did she handle discipline? What was her relationship like with her husband, mother, siblings, etc.? How about this: Was it common for little boys to wear white socks with black pants when they dressed up, or was that just a cute mistake?
I love to look at these photographs, but I crave to see a journal or some letters or something that would tell me more than just what they looked like. I am satisfied that if my kids or grandkids ever wonder what I thought, they can look back at journals or blog posts and learn a lot. Maybe too much. But if any of my descendents are like me, they will be happy to learn which challenges and joys are unique to them in their eras and which ones transcend decades and that they have in common with their parents and grandparents.
Meanwhile, I am happy to look at these priceless photographs and ask questions of the ones who might remember...
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